Skip to main content

How To Start a Stubborn Lawn Mower

If your lawn mower is giving you trouble, check common problem areas before you lug it to the shop.


  • Step 1: Remove the mower's carburetor with your ratchet and screwdriver and wipe any dirt and debris out of the bowl with a rag.
  • Step 2: Make sure the air filter is clean. Take it out and, if it is dirty and oily, replace it with a new filter.
  • Step 3: Try starting your mower again – it should run like new.
  • FACT: In 2001, Gary Hatter set a world record for the longest journey on a lawnmower – he traveled 14,594.5 miles in 260 days.
  • : Make sure you dispose of your old gas at a hazardous waste site; anywhere else is illegal.
  • Step 4: Put new gas in the tank if the mower starts and quickly stalls. Note that if gas sits for a long period, it can go bad. Pour the bad gas out of the tank and then add fresh gas.
  • Step 5: Pull out and clean the spark plug if it is black or looks wet. If it is corroded, replace it.
  • Step 6: Check to see if the carburetor is flooded. Set the mower on a flat surface and wait 15 minutes for the gas to evaporate. Keep the choke off and try to restart the mower.
  • TIP: A flooded engine will smell of unburned gas.
  • Step 7: Check to see if there's gas in the tank.

Popular Categories